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Entrance to St. Augustine's College Campus
Photo by J. D. Long, courtesy of Raleigh Historic Development Commission
Located 10 blocks east of the State Capitol, St. Augustine's College was founded in 1867, an outgrowth of Christian missionary work in the Reconstruction Era South. With Shaw University, it established Raleigh as a center of educational opportunity for freedmen, and over the years has graduated many of the region's most accomplished African Americans. Among its early faculty members was Rev. Henry Beard Delany, whose daughters Bessie and Sadie, as centenarians, recounted their childhood days on campus in the national bestseller Having Our Say.

[photo] Entrance to St. Augustine's College Campus
Photo by J. D. Long, courtesy of Raleigh Historic Development Commission

Affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church, St. Augustine's began as a normal school with a technical and trade-related program, and subsequently adopted a liberal arts curriculum. The church further extended its mission by establishing St. Agnes Hospital and Training School for Nurses, to provide medical care for and by African Americans. Historically, the school also has served as an anchor of the predominantly black neighborhoods of Idlewild and College Park, which flank it.

The evolving nature of the school is reflected in its varied architecture. The campus' earliest buildings are clustered around a central, landscaped oval and near Oakwood Avenue, which runs east to west past the school. St. Augustine's Chapel (1895) was constructed of stone in the Gothic style; the Romanesque Benson Library building (1896), which is now part of Taylor Hall (1902), and St. Agnes Hospital (1909) are also built from stone. The Hunter, Delany and Cheshire buildings, dating from the early 20th century, are constructed of brick in the Classical Revival style. While contemporary buildings of the school's outer grounds provide a modernist contrast, the campus core remains a tangible bequest from St. Augustine's pioneering beginnings. St. Augustine's Chapel and St. Agnes Hospital are designated Raleigh Historic Landmarks.

The St. Augustine's College Historic District is located at 1315 Oakwood Ave. Buildings and grounds are open during daytime school hours. For further information visit the school's website.

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